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The use of highway crossings to maintain landscape connectivity for moose and roe deer
Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Increasingly wildlife managers and land managers are challenged to maintain the viability and connectivity among large mammal populations. Thus, it is important that effective highway crossings are identified and optimized with respect to construction cost, facilitation of ungulate movements, and ability to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. The use of exclusion fencing to reduce ungulate-vehicle collisions is commonly installed along Swedish highways. However, exclusion fences may pose a threat to the viability of wildlife populations because they serve as barriers to individual movements and may limit accessibility to resources. Various types of wildlife crossings intended to reduce road-kills and increase habitat connectivity across fenced highways have been constructed throughout the world. Previous studies have evaluated the importance of structure design and size for many ungulate species, but few studies involved moose (Alces alces) which is the target species for most large ungulate mitigations in Sweden. The results of the studies are intended to facilitate the development of wildlife crossings and conventional road passages to meet ungulate demands.

We monitored moose fitted with GPS radio collars and characterized their space and habitat use patterns in southwestern Sweden. Moose had seasonal differences in habitat selection within their home range, and generally preferred clear-cuts and early successional forest, boreal forest, and glades, but avoided agricultural areas and open water. We used infrared remote cameras, track surveys, and GPS telemetry to monitor the use of wildlife crossings and conventional road passages by moose and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). The upgrading of a non-fenced road to a fenced highway with three wildlife crossings decreased the moose movements across the highway by 67-89 %. Overpass use by moose and roe deer declined with increased traffic volume on the highway and both species walked during periods of low highway traffic volumes and shifted to trotting as traffic intensity increased. Low rates of human disturbances and proximity to forest edges increased use of highway underpasses by roe deer. Moose used large underpasses to a higher degree than small.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Fakulteten för samhälls- och livsvetenskaper , 2007.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2007:16
Keywords [en]
wildlife crossings, Barrier effect, habitat selection, ecoduct, moose, roe deer, connectivity, conservation, overpass, underpass, highway, exclusion fencing
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1143ISBN: 978-91-7063-119-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-1143DiVA, id: diva2:4939
Public defence
2007-06-08, Andersalen, 11D 121, 651 88, Karlstad, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07
List of papers
1. Space and habitat use of moose in southwestern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Space and habitat use of moose in southwestern Sweden
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2011 (English)In: European Journal of Wildlife Research, ISSN 1612-4642, E-ISSN 1439-0574, Vol. 57, no 2, p. 241-249Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2011
National Category
Zoology
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1896 (URN)10.1007/s10344-010-0418-5 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07 Last updated: 2018-08-08Bibliographically approved
2. Effects of highway fencing and wildlife crossings on moose Alces alces movements and space use in southwestern Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of highway fencing and wildlife crossings on moose Alces alces movements and space use in southwestern Sweden
2008 (English)In: Wildlife Biology, ISSN 0909-6396, E-ISSN 1903-220X, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 111-117Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Use of exclusion fencing is an effective method to reduce moose-vehicle collisions, and exclusion fences are commonly erected along Swedish highways. However, exclusion fences may pose a threat to the viability of wildlife populations because they serve as barriers to individual movements and may limit accessibility to resources. Various types of wildlife crossings intended to reduce road-kills and increase habitat connectivity across fenced highways have been constructed throughout the world. However, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of these crossing structures with respect to movements before, during and after construction of highways and exclusion fencing. We studied movements of 24 GPS-collared moose Alces alces before, during and after an existing two-lane road was reconstructed to a fenced four-lane highway with three wildlife crossings designed for moose. We recorded 135 movements across the highway during 8,830 moose-monitoring days. Of these, 47 occurred before the construction began, 76 occurred during the construction, and 12 occurred after the highway was fenced. All movements registered after the fencing occurred across two of the three wildlife crossings. The average number of highway crossings per moose-day decreased by 67-89% after fencing. The number of moose-vehicle collisions decreased after the exclusion fencing, but the fenced highway served as a barrier to moose movements even though three wildlife crossings were created. Thus, exclusion fencing may reduce moose mortality and provide safer conditions for automobile travellers, but the fencing may have a negative impact on moose accessibility to resources, gene flow and recolonisation rates.

Keywords
Alces alces, barrier effect, exclusion fence, highway, moose, wildlife crossings
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1897 (URN)10.2981/0909-6396(2008)14%5B111:EOHFAW%5D2.0.CO;2 (DOI)
Note
I manuskriptform hade denna artikel titeln "Effects of highway fencing and wildlife passagens on space use and movements of moose (Alces alces) in Southwestern Sweden"Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
3. Effectiveness of a highway overpass to promote landscape connectivity and movement of moose and roe deer in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effectiveness of a highway overpass to promote landscape connectivity and movement of moose and roe deer in Sweden
2008 (English)In: Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 85, no 2, p. 133-139Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ungulate-vehicle accidents accounted for approximately 60% of the total police reported traffic accidents in Sweden during the 1990s. While exclusion fences are effective at reducing such collisions, they create a new threat to wildlife by limiting individual movements and access to resources. To promote movements across fenced highways, wildlife crossing structures have been constructed in many countries. We used infrared remote cameras, track count surveys, and GPS telemetry to monitor the use of a highway overpass by moose (Alces alces) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in southwestern Sweden. Moose and roe deer used the overpass mostly during nocturnal hours (84 and 76%, respectively). Overpass use declined with increased traffic volume on the highway, indicating that highway traffic affected the frequency in which ungulates used the overpass. We calculated that 5–7 individual moose used the overpass annually which is enough to maintain gene flow between otherwise disjunct subpopulations.

Keywords
Moose; Roe deer; Remote camera; GPS-collar; Wildlife crossing; Highway overpass; Connectivity; Exclusion fencing
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1898 (URN)10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.10.006 (DOI)
Note
I manuskriptform hade denna artikel titeln "Moose and roe deer use of a wildlife overpass in southwestern Sweden"Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved
4. The use of highway crossing structures by moose and roe deer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The use of highway crossing structures by moose and roe deer
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-1899 (URN)
Available from: 2007-09-07 Created: 2007-09-07 Last updated: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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